The Frank head south

The musicians in The Frank aren’t just California dreamin’. The band is actually embarking on an extended road trip south of the border.

The Frank have played a lot of venues over the years

The musicians in The Frank aren’t just California dreamin’. The band is actually embarking on an extended road trip south of the border.

After spending a dozen years playing in virtually every bar from Banff to Bentley and Blackfalds to Edmonton, the ambitious Red Deer group has set its sights on getting signed by a record label.

“It’s everybody’s dream to hit the big time” — or at least be successful enough to pay somebody else to set up the stage equipment, joked lead guitarist/vocalist Denver Swainson.

The Frank plans to give itself a decent shot at fame by travelling to where the band is most likely to be discovered — Los Angeles, home of record company head offices.

For the last 10 months, the already hard-working rockers have been in hyper-drive, performing every Friday and Saturday night, and tucking all earnings into a savings account to finance a six-month tour of California.

Swainson, along with bassist Joe Miller, rhythm guitarist Sara Page and drummer Will Gilgan, are also getting their U.S. work visas, packing up their recently purchased motorhome, and planning a scouting trip to L.A. this summer.

After lining up some bar gigs there, they are planning to return to California in September to perform there until February. “We want to do the full 24/seven and go there to play and write,” said Page.

The Frank’s big fundraising sendoff will be a two-evening concert of local bands at The Vat in Red Deer.

On Friday, June 26, The Frank will perform with Wool on Wolves and Oldbury. On Saturday, June 27, the band plays with Diesel May and the KlamDaggers. Doors will open at 8 p.m. on both nights and the $5 per person cover will go straight to The Frank’s California bank account.

“We want everybody to come and see us!” said Page, who hopes to fill the place.

She and other members of The Frank praised their fellow musicians on the bill, whom they’ve known for years, for agreeing to donate their performances that weekend to help them chase their dream. “We’ve had a lot of support,” said Miller.

“They’ve been our really good friends,” said Page.

The Frank came onto Red Deer’s music scene in 1997 when the group was formed by long-time school friends.

With influences as diverse as Neil Young, The Tragically Hip, Jimi Hendrix, Hole, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joni Mitchell, the band has become adept at synthesized various musical styles into their own brand of rock ’n’ roll, which shows occasional flashes of country, punk and folk.

“We’re not hard rock, we’re not soft rock — we’re just rock,” said Page. Lately the college student and other band members, who are either trades apprentices or agricultural salespeople by day, have grown discontented with playing music as a sideline.

They much rather play music all the time. “That would be awesome,” said Page.

Miller considers the California trip to be a great adventure and — at the very least — a calculated a kick at the can.

Swainson believes it’s time to take a risk. “We don’t want to say we got together for nothing.”

He joked that California is full of celebrities, so “I can’t wait until we’re booed off the stage by somebody famous.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Celebrating 4-20 in Red Deer

For years, 4-20 was a time to protest for the legalization of… Continue reading

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Dozens hurt in collapse of deck during wedding celebration in Langley, B.C.

LANGLEY, B.C. — Police say dozens of people were injured, some critically,… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25.5 million jackpot… Continue reading

Uber driver charged in two sexual assault investigations: Toronto police

Toronto police say an Uber driver is facing sexual assault charges in… Continue reading

PEI Green party candidate Josh Underhay and son killed in canoeing accident

CHARLOTTETOWN — With only a few days before voters were to go… Continue reading

Egyptians vote on changes that would extend el-Sissi’s rule

CAIRO — Egyptians cast their ballots Saturday on the first of three… Continue reading

Ex-Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid

WASHINGTON — A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group’s… Continue reading

New bout of heavy fighting in Yemen kills dozens

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni officials say heavy fighting in Yemen’s southern Dhale… Continue reading

Most Read